What kind of challenge to overseas Christian work can prompt inquiries from 700 volunteers from within a small denomination during a four-month period? Such a response came when the Free Methodist Church established a program known as Volunteers in Service Aboard (VISA), and called on young people to go for a short term of service abroad.
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To Conservative Baptist missionaries, the young man seemed an answer to prayer. Young, energetic, intelligent, member of an evangelical church, he worked as a clerk in the Naples (Italy) Bible Center. The shock came when it was discovered that, though a professing Christian, the youth was also an active member of the Communist party and served as secretary of the Communist Youth League in his nearby home town.
“Don’t hold a funeral for me, but just throw my remains in Tokyo Bay off Shinagawa if we fail to achieve 750,000 families in the next seven years.”11 These were the words of Josei Toda, second president of the Soka Gakkai of Japan, when he took office in 1951.
Man’s lost condition starts with the Fall. Subsequent to the Fall, Adam hid himself from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. The precious fellowship between man and God was broken. With the break of fellowship, man became lost. Adam’s lost condition, which implied both spiritual and physical death, was mysteriously imputed to posterity.
After thirty years of close association with missionary activity, broken only by World War II, it has been an unusual experience to find myself on the sidelines and not in the battle itself. Perhaps there is some value in the assessment of one who, while deeply concerned for the work, is no longer fully immersed in it.